Monday, January 30, 2012

Theists, Deists, Atheists

Someone once asked Einstein if he was an atheist. Einstein answered something like, "No. That is too easy. It's an arrogant position and it lacks mystery."

Another person asked him another time if he believed in God. Einstein answered that he believed in Spinoza's God.

Okay, so Spinoza was a deist.

And yet, although I'm glad that such a great mind as Einstein's could not accept atheism, I'm not too thrilled he was a deist. After all, deism is almost as untenable as atheism. An Intelligence who made the world but has no interest in it and really no ability to love His Creations.

I rather like the Theistic view. A personal God with a personality -- a personality I may or may not like, who does things I may or may not like. A God who is not a machine, who has whims perhaps but who is never cruel  and is always just, wise, and loving.

Consider the meaning of the word "ATHEIST:." They do not call themselves "ADEISTS." Because it is not easy to challenge the existence of a deistic God. Deistic Gods do not need to show themselves good. They don't need to show themselves at all. Nor are there APOLYTHEISTS. Because in a world of such evil and confusion, one can possibly say (as the ancient Greeks and the modern Hindus and modern primitivists say) that gods have certain territories and often feud among themselves.

So the problem seems to be with Theism, and in particular Judeo-Christian Theism. After all the Moslem God is somewhere between a theistic and a deistic God. Not quite unconcerned but not quite in your face.

Some of my atheist friends seem to be at war with the theistic God's way of dealing with the world. "Why," they ask, "does he allow evil?" Of course I always counter with "When should he not allow evil? Should he only not allow evil when others do it? What about the evils you have done? Would you have wanted him to step in and stop you from say sleeping with your neighbor's spouse, ignoring the poor person on the street, stealing from your client etc?"

When my atheist friends go on one of their rants against God, I cannot help but feel they are mentally stuck at a sunday school level. They have a child's view of God. "Why isn't the world fair?" etc. Sometimes when God wasn't even mentioned in a conversation, and a news program comes on telling about thousands of people dying in some earthquake somewhere, suddenly OUT of the BLUE the atheist will say, "How can a person believe in a good God with this kinda stuff? Yeah, yeah, where was God then?"

This always seems a bit over-the-top for me....then I realize there is this hurt child who feels that God has not protected them from evil. Of course, as they grow older they deceive themselves by saying this is all about reasonableness.

Neuroscientists have proved that reason comes from the emotional center of the brain. When a person has an accidental injury to the emotional centers of their brain, they may become irrational and have problems reasoning. So, reason is born in emotion. Reason is emotion's way of proving itself.

So then, what is the duty of the Theist in this world? It falls to us to prove a theistic worldview. Then it falls to us to prove the theistic worldview of Christians. And the only way one can prove this, it seems to me, is not through WORDS and DIALOG but through the Living Christ, and the manifestation of His powers and miracles in this world. That is a point many Christians miss so one ends up with Bible versus Koran or Bible versus the latest atheistic tome. We have to prove what is that good perfect and acceptable will of God -- Christ in us the hope of glory. 

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